Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace - Fulham

Mark Bowering
Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace - Fulham

Fulham heads into Monday's clash at Crystal Palace boosted by the availability of Scott Parker, Aaron Hughes and Maarten Stekelenburg.

Parker (calf) has missed one game, Hughes (thigh) has been sidelined since the end of August and Stekelenburg (shoulder) suffered his injury on the opening day of the Premier League season.

A 1-0 victory over Stoke prior to the international break eased the pressure on mamager Martin Jol after a section of Fulham fans voiced their frustration at a perceived lack of progress under the Dutchman following a 2-1 home defeat against Cardiff during the previous weekend.

Jol will be confident of building on the Stoke success following the return of three players who could go straight into his starting XI for a fixture that Fulham has fared well in down the years.

Palace has won just two of the last 19 league encounters between the two clubs and is desperately searching for a victory to kick-start the campaign.

Ian Holloway's men are marooned in the bottom three without a clean sheet this term and are struggling after losing seven of the last eight games in all competitions, a run punctured by a 3-1 victory win over Sunderland at the end of August, the club's only victory in 2013-14.

A spirited second-half display in the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool two weeks ago, however, ensures Holloway remains as positive as ever, although he knows his team need to turn performances into points.

"We know we need to get a win and there is nothing wrong at Palace that a good three points will put right,"
Jol told the Croydon Advertiser. "We have to face up that what we have been doing is not good enough, although a lot of it has not been far off.

"I thought we played really well at Liverpool and showed all sorts of character, but we need points on the board."

Holloway has a selection dilemma surrounding winger Yannick Bolasie, who made his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute at Anfield against Liverpool after overcoming a hamstring injury.

Palace captain Patrick McCarthy is back in training following a groin problem that has kept him out since the end of April, although it remains to be seen whether he is fit enough yet to return to first-team action. Long-term injury casualty Glenn Murray (knee) is still out and is on course for a December comeback.